Helping children draw nearer to God

A Transformative Experience

Catechist formation in the CGS method is like a retreat: a time set apart to listen to the voice of the One who calls us each by name. Adults enter training seeking a way to share the faith with children. When they encounter the face of God that the young child most responds to, they discover that their own relationship with God has deepened. This is why we call it “formation” rather than simply “training”.

What does formation involve?

Catechist formation in CGS engages hand, head, and heart, immersing the adult in:

  • Scripture
  • Liturgy
  • Theology
  • Prayer
  • the needs and spiritual growth of the young child
  • making and using atrium materials
Each course is a minimum commitment of 90 hours, with readings and written work required. The three levels must be completed in sequence.

How can I get my feet wet?

Many adults want to get a sense of what CGS is all about before committing to a 90+ hour course. Contact your local atrium director to find out how you can help and become involved in the Good Shepherd’s work. Possible Ways to Contribute Time and Talent and Treasure

  • Making materials: eg. carpentry, sewing, drawing, calligraphy, knitting/crocheting (slippers used by the children), cutting out paper collage pieces
  • Setting up/restoring the area used by the children: some atriums share their space with other church groups
  • Recording observations of the children at work: this is how the catechists learn what the children need! Come, sit, and watch.
  • Become a member. Receive informative newsletters and ask questions of catechists in the forum.

Need help discerning?

To deepen your understanding of the work of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we highly recommend this set of online resources from the United States association. Please contact us. Our Director of Formation is happy to answer any of your questions.


Ages 3-6

The Level 1 course lays the foundation of the theory and practices of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for all three levels.

Ages 6-9

Using the parables of the True Vine and the Good Shepherd, the Level 2 course considers the question, "How are we called to live in covenant relationship?"

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Ages 9-12

In Level 3, the covenant is considered with respect to God's revelation and relationship with us through time:  "The History of the Plan of God."